New measures to trim energy bills

Government has announced a new package of measures to help families save on energy costs and access cheaper deals as figures published recently show energy prices are set to fall to their lowest level since Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Ofgem confirmed the price cap

The maximum amount a typical household pays for gas and electricity – will fall by £238 from April.

Long-term measures announced include examining how standard energy deals should work to pass on the cheapest electricity costs, plus £10 million in funding for companies to test new technologies and tariffs with their customers, to make the most of cheap, low-carbon power.

Smart meters

A new scheme to help customers repair or replace smart meter in-home displays after the one-year warranty is also being launched. Eight suppliers, covering the majority (60%) of the market, have signed up so far, including E, E.ON, Good Energy, Octopus, Ovo, Scottish Power, Utilita and Utility Warehouse.

These displays provide an important service in helping families, including older and vulnerable people, keep track of their energy use. Extending support will help customers continue to make the most of the savings smart meters can offer as the price cap falls and competitive deals return to the market.

Over half of British homes already use a smart meter, meaning they can access cheaper, off-peak energy tariffs. These deals can save households around £900 a year by charging an electric car, for example, at off-peak times such as during the night – with 63% of people saying they would be likely to switch to a flexible tariff to help them save money.

Evidence required

The government is also putting out a call for evidence on standard energy tariffs, which customers are rolled onto at the end of fixed-term contracts, resulting in the vast majority paying a flat rate throughout the day and a potentially higher price than they need to pay.

The government is seeking views on making these tariffs more flexible, so families pay less if using electricity at a time of day when prices are lower while protecting those who aren’t suited to a flexible tariff.

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